Monday, January 01, 2007

How I'm doing

Not so good.

One of the symptoms of fibro is depression, and that is what I've been fighting for the past few weeks. And an evil headache that does not want to leave.

I did a blocking test, which is like the "Crazy Ivan" of the guai protocol...I upped my dose to see if I'm blocking on something like shea butter. Shea butter is a plant product but butters are supposedly salicylate free or low enough in sals not to be a problem, and supposedly won't interfere with guaifenesin's activity on my fibro...but I got's me lots of dry skin and stretch marks and so I've been using it heavily.

So, I'm doing a blocking test. Upped my dosage. Today will REALLY tell, because I'm not using the shea butter today. If yesterday was any indication, I'm NOT blocking, because the thing I'm looking for is an increase in symptoms. If I were blocking my symptoms would stay the same.

Yesterday was miserable. I was in alot of pain and by the time I got home from Church, the fatigue was unbearable, except I was not sleepy. I just could not move: my muscles were very very stiff and very very fatigued and I was having the random pain thing, too. OK, that bodes well for my continued shea butter use.

The other thing that's been going on is that I'm lonely. My marriage is great. And that's about all that is great. For weeks on end, this has been happening: I get my food at common meal at Church, I sit down, and the table around me stays empty. What, do I have horns growing out of my head????? Do I have bad breath? No, just a cane and a tired look on my face.

But I go to Church and I intentionally think kind thoughts about everyone. I pray for people. I love them. I get up and try to help with set up or clean up. I'm nice to the babies. I smile as much as I can. I go out of my way to make new folks and visitors feel welcome. And it feels like a flippin' junior high lunch room experience where I'm alone at the reject table. And no, I'm not sitting in the far corner, either. Week after empty table in the middle of a very crowded fellowship hall. My husband joins me when he gets in there from helping to do treasury stuff, and even HE notices. He joins me, so it's me and him, alone.

And everyone is making grand plans, get togethers, pizza parties, birthday parties for their kids, etc.

And we are not welcome.

What is God trying to teach me here? I'm open to finding out, learning my lesson and getting on with things. Because this has been going on for some time now, and it hurts.

Holy St. Xenia, fool for Christ, pray for me!


Margi said...

I know. I was crying the other day and it wasn't because the lupus-thing has reasserted itself painful though it is, it was loneliness. I have a personality disorder and sometimes I wonder if I flash a neon sign saying "psycho" :-) but I'm lucky, I can choose churches and I go to a very small one where people accept me but even there, occasionally, it's only the poor overworked Matushka who talks to me. Sometimes I wonder if it's to teach me to seek out Christ more as a friend and companion (also my guardian angel?) You know, you read about those mediaeval anchoresses and others who found everything in Christ separated as they were from 'normal' society - possibly the inexplicable rejection is a nudge in that direction? I don't know.

Ruth said...

Hi Alana,

I'm so sorry you're feeling bad, physically and emotionally. I hope and pray that things will get better. Have a happy 2007.

Michelle Melania said...

I hope that you are feeling better soon! I want you to know that you are not the only one who feels like that at church. There have been many a Sunday when no one really talked with us at Common Meal. So I guess that means WE need to sit together! Make sure you join us this coming week. We'll already have our little man seated and eating. I hope this week goes better for you. Maybe I'll see you tonight at church.

alana said...

Thanks Michelle, will do!

I do think it is an opportunity to draw closer to Christ, and yesterday as I was sitting alone I did think of my guardian angel and I thought "Well, angel, its just you and me right now."

At least this week did not leave me weeping in the nave....pathetic, I know.

Lauren S. said...

Oh, Alana, I can so relate to the lonliness. At my old church I could barely get out the door without yacking with a bunch of people and being hugged, and all the social stuff I love so much. But now, my introvert husband has more friends than I do and I can't seem to connnect with anyone at our new church. Don't get me wrong, everyone is very nice but I feel so in between and like no one really knows what to do with me. There are lots of younger girls who are not moms yet and are so stylish I feel like an old frump around. Then the mom's I've met seem way older than me, like there is a huge generation gap everywhere I go. I am coming to terms with the fact that I have been depressed as well. I don't know what's wrong with me. I feel like I always say the wrong thing too. Blah.

I'll pray for both of us. I would totally eat lunch with you at the reject table if you weren't so far away. :)

DollyMama said...

I'm so sorry you are not feeling well. I hope the test helps you know what you can do to feel better.

I can identify with the lonely thing at church. That always happens to us, even though I now make an effort to let the older kids sit with their friends, etc., so that our family doesn't take up the entire table. We still end up alone a lot. Not. Fun.

Elizabeth said...

Alana, sending hugs your way.
My fibro has been pretty bad the last few weeks too.
The headache is vile and nothing shifts it.

Remember, you are not alone - your guardian angel is always with you. Cling to Christ like a limpet.
God bless.

kel said...

There have been many a Sunday where hubs and I sit in a pew, and no one ever comes and sits next to us. Most Sundays, really. Most people have kids and their family takes up a whole row. It's just the two of us, and there aren't many others looking for a partial-pew.

I'm sorry to hear it's been so lonely. I haven't been in that exact position, but I know loneliness. Isn't it odd how you can be with friends, or with crowds of people, and yet feel isolated and lonely? There is beauty in your honest thoughts.

During the common meal, perhaps you could reach out to someone else and purposefully go sit with them (maybe there is someone who is secretly lonely too) and start a conversation. Maybe the Lord is urging you to be the initiator, rather than waiting for someone to come to you. Just a thought...

I look forward to your posts. You've at least got friends over the wires.

Mimi said...

Hugs and prayers. You are a continual blessing to me, and if I can return the favor by sending some cyber hugs and heartfelt prayers, you got them!

The Traditional Frog said...


Prayers for your fibromyalgia.

Regarding your lonliness, that has been the story of my life for the most part. I can certainly sympathise. Having AS is certainly a major player in this, however, I make a great effort to not use it as an excuse or crutch. Like you I make an effort to reach out and be friendly. Unfortunately more often than not, I still end up all by my lonesome.

Finally my struggle has paid off to a certain extent, as I have found a small Orthodox parish(that I can actually walk or bicycle too)where I am loved and accepted by most of the people. If it hadn't been for my priest and spiritual father (particularly early on), I don't know what state I would be in now.

As I see it God gave me this cross to bear. I could (perhaps) go back and ask Him for a different one. However, I may regret it as it could be far heavier.

Like you, I am suffering from intense lonliness right now (it just really hits me at times like a load of bricks). Nonetheless, even in this suffering and pain I find myself growing in holiness and Godliness, and in that finding great joy.

It is when God seems farthest away that He is closest. As the Russian say when sick or suffering, God is paying a visit.

May God bless you and your family.

james said...

"I get my food at common meal at Church, I sit down, and the table around me stays empty."

That surprises and disappoints me.

Tabitha said...

I commented on this to Alana personally, but thought I would say something here just in case others from our parish are also suffering in silence. I know of at least a half-a-dozen others in our parish who are struggling with depression, loneliness or severe stress right now. This holiday season has been especially hard because it has also included the loss of our founding priest and family as well as another dear couple, and welcoming and getting to know a new priest and his family. We've had an Archpastoral visit to prepare for and a whole bunch of visitors to love on. Throw in several viruses that have been making the rounds and there just hasn't been a whole lot left at the end of the day for taking care of ourselves and each other.

I strongly suspect that the grieving process is taking a toll on all of us. I look around and see visitors being greeted, new people being included, festivities being prepared for, sick people being cared for. In short, a lot of good work. I look closer and I also see that the faithful are stretched thin. Every one I have talked to about this has shared a sense of isolation and/or being overwhelmed. Unfortunately, we aren't talking to each other as much as we used to and so each of us feels "its just me that is suffering this alone." I look forward to this New Year, now that the holidays and transitions are behind us. I already see signs of improvement and adjustment. I pray that as things resume a more normal pace, we will regain our equilibrium. Remember to take some time to take care of yourself. Remember to share your burdens with each other. Remember that we love each other and are trying to be a spiritual family. These are the things that are helping me to cope, anyway. God bless, I love you all.